Asterisk and a Cisco FXO Gateway

Holy smokes! I just had to document this because it’s been driving me insane for days!!!

If you have a Cisco gateway with FXO port and you are connecting to an Asterisk@home server, here’s how to set up the SIP trunk in AMP:

In the Outgoing settings only:
allow=ulaw
context=from-pstn
disallow=all
dtmfmode=rfc2833
host=192.168.169.2
insecure=very
ipaddr=192.168.169.2
type=peer

Couple things to note here. I believe the host and ipaddr must be the IP Address of the router. It’s possible that a host name defined in DNS or the hosts file would work also. The other key elements are type=peer and insecure=very. Without those two Asterisk won’t accept the incoming SIP traffic as “known” and it will kick it to the curb, or the bogon-calls context if you have it defined.

From there it’s a matter of defining the “Inbound Routing”.

The future looks bright

I’m sitting here in my office tonight, wasting away a couple of hours until I go to Rockville for a late night job.  I found this video over on YouTube.com and it struck me with the different kind of tone it gives the Back To The Future movies.  BTTF came out when I was a kid and it’s always stayed with me as a hopeful and fun movie.  I mean, who wouldn’t want a time traveling DeLorean???

Ok…so it’s entertaining…but what’s the big deal?

We’re faced with challenges every day.  We match the news and it feels like the world’s falling apart at times.  And yet, there are these rays of hope.  These moments where we get a glimpse into how wonderful the rest of our lives could be.  Your child’s smile, finding the love of your life, realizing you actually do have it better than your parents and grandparents did (even though you didn’t really plan it that way)…

So what does that have to do with Back To The Future?  There are a lot of neat toys in part 2.  While most of it is still just dreams, we’re getting there.  Check out this Microsoft stuff.  Never thought I’d be praising them but this is cool.  But the important part of BTTF is at the end of part 3. 

The future is what we make of it.  We all have preconceived notions of how things will work out but it rarely goes that way.  In the end that’s probably a good thing.  I know it has been in my case.

When I get hung up on my personal goals, maybe it’s important to just step back and remember how good it is, and how much I look forward to the future.

Cobra update

Yeah…not much to report.  The garage has been far too cold to want to work out there.  Wiring is on my short list.  About another month or two of around the house work and I hope to dig into it.

Anyway…things aren’t dead here.  Just slow moving as they’ve always been.

Winter’s Icy Grip

Winter…she’s such a tease.  60’s last week and now back to sub-freezing temps.  That bitch.  I’m really hating the cold.  It just sucks the life out of everything.  I don’t know how the folks up north do it.  And for that matter, I don’t know how the Seattle people manage with all that gloom.  I think I’m really a sunny and warm kind of person.  Please Spring, move your ass!

* gets skinny

Been fiddling with Asterisk some more at home. I’m working my way towards making it my only phone system. One of the things I came across was a SCCP driver. This would allow me to use the Cisco phones I already have without reformating them to SIP images. Sounds groovy! Except, it’s not quite as baked as I had hoped. It’s not bad, it’s just that I’m having a heck of a time figuring out how to do some stuff. Part of that is because of my lack of understanding of how Asterisk config files work. A larger part is the lack of good documentation. The one place I found good info is on the Asterisk Wiki but even that is lacking. For instance, the sample extensions.conf doesn’t jive with the rest of the sample configs. Once I get this figured out and working I might finally figure out how to edit the Wiki.

Features? Give me price!

Andy Abrahmson talks about Packet8 adding features.
http://andyabramson.blogs.com/voipwatch/2006/02/packet8_catches.html

In my mind these are must have features and likely will stave off voluntary churn at P8 as users want applications, not just cost savings.

Pardon me for disagreeing but I want price. I want super cheap. I want almost free.

Having an Asterisk system allows me to do most of the features he mentioned in that piece plus a whole lot more. I know I’m a little different in having my own PBX in my house but I don’t think I’m that small a minority within the VoIP market. Where’s my $10/month unlimited plan for no features except PSTN access? Voicemail, got it inside. Find me, follow me, got it inside. Forward voicemail to email, got it inside. How about PSTN access through an FXO and VoIP access to other free SIP networks like Gizmo/Google Talk? Don’t think a hosted solution can do that.

Ok, so you don’t have an Asterisk in your house. Still, I think many of the second wave will switch for price and not features. My mom will not care about find me/follow me. What she’ll care about is being able to talk to her kids and grandkids for cheap.